Football fans showed their pride and enjoyed the beautiful North Texas weather on Thursday at AT&T Stadium for the 2018 NFL Draft.
It’s the first time the league is holding its draft at a stadium and fans from each of the 32 teams could be seen making their way through the NFL Draft Experience fan fest outside.
The league said more than 250,000 people have registered for its Fan Mobile Pass, which will grant access to the draft. Of those registered, about 60,000 will be selected randomly to get seats inside the stadium to watch the draft over the next few days.
The NFL Draft Experience outside features food from North Texas restaurants, interactive games and memorabilia.
“It's interesting and it's new,” said Eagles fan Marlon Galdamez. “Excited to see what other new things AT&T Stadium and the Cowboys bring to this draft see how it goes down tonight.”
It was hard to miss Buccaneers fan Albert Owens. He was inside once the draft started as part of “the inner circle” where fans from all teams got to sit on the field in a political convention-type setup. He made the trip from Tampa Bay and he can't wait.
"Never seen anything like it. a slice of heaven for a football fan,” Owens said.
Interactive events are big favorites. Fans tested their skills and maybe imagined being their favorite player on the field. Some fans got loud and rowdy, but for the most part folks seemed to respect their rival fans and even be friendly.
“The passion throughout the NFL is great to see all represented by each fan and see their commitment to come to Dallas and see what a true stadium can look like awesome to be the host of that type of experience,” said Carlos Constancio, Cowboys fan.
No one was more awe struck by draft day than the dozen Arlington high school football players who were chosen by their coaches to attend. They got to walk the red carpet after all the prospects and stand on the stage as the Dallas Cowboys made their pick at No. 19.
“This is such an amazing experience,” one of the teens said. “It's so surreal just to be here around the nation's best college football players.”
Cowboys fans were hopeful the draft would return to North Texas soon.
“This is amazing, we love the atmosphere, it's a lot of fans here, it's just a good atmosphere, we love it,” said Cowboys fan Laquisha Ross.
“I said this is the best place it ever would be, it's such a great place to have a draft, I think they're actually looking now and saying we should do this again,” said Cowboys fan Mateo Franco.
Rounds two and three are Friday, and rounds four through seven are Saturday.